Starting a CERT Program

Step 1: Assessing Needs

On November 8, 2001, President Bush said: 'We will ask State and local officials to create a new, modern civil defense service, similar to local volunteer fire departments, to respond to local emergencies when the manpower of government is stretched thin. . . .' CERT is one answer to the President's challenge.

Where should you begin? Just as in emergency planning, you should begin by assessing your community's disaster preparedness.

How can CERT augment your community's response capability? The answer to this question will help you determine the role CERTs should play. Many communities are forming Citizen Corps Councils. These councils can be a partner in helping you start a CERT program.

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